2022-23 IOWA HAWKEYES FINAL NOTES
- Iowa is one of 10 teams in the country to make the last four NCAA Tournaments, and one of only three Big Ten teams to accomplish the feat (Purdue, Michigan State).
- Iowa won eight games over NCAA Tournament teams in 2023: Iowa State, SE Missouri State, Indiana (twice), Maryland, Northwestern, Illinois and Michigan State.
- Iowa has placed fifth place or better in the Big Ten standings seven of the last nine years.
- Iowa and Michigan State had 13 regular season wins over teams in the top two quadrants, second most in the Big Ten (Purdue, 19).
- Kris Murray was tabbed a consensus third team All-American in 2023. Iowa has had a consensus All-American five of the last eight seasons, including four straight. Jarrod Uthoff was a second-team honoree in 2016; Luka Garza earned first-team distinction in 2020 and 2021, while Keegan Murray was recognized on the first team in 2022.
- Fran McCaffery has guided seven players to first team All-Big Ten status eight of the last 10 seasons, including Kris Murray (unanimous by the media) this year.
- Iowa had six players recognized with postseason Big Ten honors: Kris Murray (first team), Filip Rebraca (third team), Tony Perkins (honorable mention), Connor McCaffery (honorable mention), Payton Sandfort (Sixth Man of the Year), and Patrick McCaffery (sportsmanship).
- Iowa finished the regular season tied for fifth place in the Big Ten standings, its fifth consecutive upper division Big Ten finish and 10th over the last 11 seasons. Iowa is the only Big Ten team to have first-division finishes each of the past five seasons.
- The Hawkeyes boasted a Big Ten-best 7-3 record and percentage (.700) against the top half of the conference standings during the regular season. Furthermore, Iowa went 9-4 (.692) against teams starting Big Ten Tournament play Thursday or Friday.
- Iowa has won 10 or more Big Ten games eight of the last nine seasons.
- Connor McCaffery ranked first in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.9) this season. He also led the nation in 2020 (4.6). He amassed 527 career assists, sixth most in program history. McCaffery played in 111 wins, tying Jordan Bohannon for most in program history.
- Kris Murray, who was a consensus third team All-American, was the only Division I player to average 20+ points, 7+ rebounds, 1+ block and make 65+ 3-pointers in 2023. Murray surpassed 900 points career points on March 5, 2023.
- Filip Rebraca reached double digits in scoring a team-best 28 times. He was one of only five players nationally to average 14+ points, 7.5+ rebounds, 2+ assists, while shooting 57 percent or better from the field.
- Iowa has had a player average 20+ points per game each of the last four seasons, which is a program best. Luka Garza averaged 23.9 in 2020 and 24.1 in 2021, Keegan Murray averaged 23.5 in 2022 and Kris Murray averaged 20.2 points per game in 2023.
- Iowa was 14-3 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2023. The Hawkeyes have won 14 or more home contests each of the last five years.
- Iowa led the Big Ten and was 18th nationally in scoring offense (80.1). The Hawkeyes have led the league in scoring seven of the last 11 seasons, including the last six.
- Iowa was third in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.66), 11th in fewest turnovers per game (9.8), 14th in assists per game (16.4), and 32nd in fewest fouls per game (14.8).
- It was announced that the Iowa men’s basketball team will travel to San Diego Thanksgiving week for a the Rady Children’s Invitational, Nov. 23-24. Joining the Hawkeyes will be Oklahoma (Big 12), Seton Hall (Big East) and USC (Pac-12). Games will be played at UC San Diego’s LionTree Arena and games will air either on FOX or FS1.
- Juniors Ahron Ulis and Josh Ogundele announced following the season that they have each decided to transfer to another school.
- The Hawkeyes were 12-2 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers in a game.
- Iowa is the only school with three Naismith Player of the Year award winners in the last five years (Megan Gustafson; Luka Garza; Caitlin Clark).
- Iowa is the only school in the nation to have its football team qualify for a bowl game and have its men’s and women’s basketball teams selected for the NCAA basketball tournaments the past three seasons.
- Fran McCaffery (261) will begin next season needing 11 wins to surpass Tom Davis (271) and become Iowa’s all-time winningest coach.
6 HAWKEYES EARN POSTSEASON BIG TEN RECOGNITION
Kris Murray was selected as a first-team All-Big Ten honoree by both the media and coaches. Filip Rebraca was a third team pick by the media and honorable mention by the coaches. Connor McCaffery and Tony Perkins were honorable mention selections by both the media and coaches. Payton Sandfort was chosen as the conference’s Sixth Man of the Year by the Big Ten by the coaches. Patrick McCaffery earned the team’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for the second straight season.
Murray was a unanimous selection by the media, marking the fourth straight year a Hawkeye has been a unanimous first team selection (Keegan Murray in ’22; Luka Garza in ’20 and ’21).
Head coach Fran McCaffery has coached a first-team All-Big Ten honoree in eight of the last 10 seasons, matching the most over a 10-year span in program history (1939-48). The eight honorees under Coach McCaffery equal the total combined first-team all-conference selections under head coaches Todd Lickliter, Steve Alford, Tom Davis and George Raveling.
Murray averaged a team-best 20.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.17 block per game. He scored 30+ points four times, 25+ points nine times, and 20+ points 15 times in 2023.
Rebraca ranked second on the squad in points (14.1) and rebounds (7.5) per game, first in field goal accuracy (.571), blocks per contest (0.9) and free throws made (106) and attempted (161).
Connor McCaffery led the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.9). He played in 111 wins, tying former teammate Jordan Bohannon for most in program history. McCaffery averaged 6.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and a team-best 3.65 assists per game this year.
Perkins ranks third on the team in points (12.3) and rebounds (4.1) per game, first in steals (46) and second in assists per game (2.75). His 87 free throws made are second most on the team. He has reached double figures in scoring 20 times this season, including six of the last eight games.
Sandfort became the fourth Hawkeye to earn Sixth Man of the Year accolades, joining Doug Thomas (2006), Gabriel Olaseni (2015) and Nicholas Baer (2017). Sandfort averaged 10.3 points, 1.78 3-pointers, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.45 assists.
VALUING THE BASKETBALL
Iowa had a 1.66 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranked third best in the country. The Hawkeyes averaged 9.8 turnovers per game, which ranked 11th nationally.
The Hawkeyes were tops in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.74); fourth in fewest turnovers per game (9.2); and seventh in turnover margin (+4.4) last season.
NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTEABLES
- Fran McCaffery took his seventh Iowa team to the NCAA Tournament. Among Iowa’s head basketball coaches, McCaffery ranks second in tournament appearance behind Tom Davis (9). Davis (271) is Iowa’s all-time winningest coach, while McCaffery (261) is second.
- The Big Ten and Southeastern Conference led all conferences with each placing eight teams in the NCAA Tournament. Joining Iowa from the Big Ten were Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue. SEC teams include Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
- Iowa was one of 10 NCAA Tournament teams that had five players average double figures in scoring (Arkansas, Arizona, Boise State, Colgate, College of Charleston, Creighton, Providence, Utah State and Xavier).
- Iowa made its 29th NCAA Tournament appearance, only 15 schools playing in the 2023 tournament competed in more. The Hawkeyes were the overall 32nd seed.
TWELVE FOR 20
Twelve different Hawkeyes have netted 30 or more points in a game under Fran McCaffery: Luka Garza (13), Keegan Murray (5), Peter Jok (5), Kris Murray (4), Devyn Marble (3), Matt Gatens (2), Jordan Bohannon (2), Jarrod Uthoff, Isaiah Moss, Joe Wieskamp, Tony Perkins, Filip Rebraca.
Iowa has played 2,941 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Iowa’s overall record is 1,739-1,202 (.591). Iowa’s 1,739 wins are 38th most among Division I programs. That includes a 1,111-381 (.745) record in home games, a 628-821 (.433) record in contests away from Iowa City, an 826-821 (.502) mark in Big Ten games and a 515-155 (.769) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
AUBURN TOPS HAWKEYES AT NCAA TOURNAMENT
In front of an arena mostly filled with Auburn fans due to proximity to its campus from Birmingham, The Tigers topped Iowa (83-75) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Legacy Arena.
- The game was the first ever meeting between Iowa and Auburn in men’s basketball.
- All-American Kris Murray tallied 15 points, a team bests in rebounds (9) and steals (2).
- Payton Sandfort tallied a game-best 21 points, making multiple 3-pointers for the 12th time in the last 18 games. Sandfort netted 20+ points six times this season, second most on the squad (Kris Murray, 15).
- Senior Filip Rebraca posted 14 points and seven rebounds in his final game as a Hawkeye. Rebraca reached double figures in scoring a team-best 28 times (33 games played).
- Iowa had eight turnovers, its fewest in an NCAA Tournament game since March 18, 2016 (3 vs. Temple).
- Iowa scored 49 second-half points, the most by a Hawkeye team in a half since scoring 49 in the first and second half versus Texas on March 19, 1992.
- Iowa concluded its season 19-14 overall, tying for fifth place in the Big Ten with an 11-9 league record.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Connor McCaffery is Iowa’s career leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, amassing a 3.59 ratio in 166 career games (527 assists; 147 turnovers), a full point above second-place Andre Banks (2.53). His career ratio is second best in NCAA history behind Iowa State’s Monte Morris (4.65).
His 3.9 assist-to-turnover ratio in 2023 was tops in the nation.
McCaffery’s assist-to-turnover ratio last year was 5.0 (did not qualify for national rankings due to not meeting assists per game minimum), while he ranked fourth nationally in 2021 with a 3.73 ratio. In 2020, he led the country with a 4.6 ratio.
Fifth-year senior Filip Rebraca took his game to another level in 2023. Rebraca, who was tabbed third-team all-league by the media, was one of nine players nationally on a college men’s basketball roster over the age of 25. He ranked first on the squad in field goal percentage (.571), and second in blocks (31) and rebounds (7.5) and points per game (14.1). He pulled down 2.88 offensive boards per outing, third best in the Big Ten and 53rd nationally. His field goal percentage (.571) ranked 35th in the country. He was one of two players (Payton Sandfort) to see action in all 32 Iowa games in 2023.
Rebraca netted career point No. 1,500 against Eastern Illinois (Dec. 21). He scored 672 points the last two seasons as a Hawkeye (69 games) and 1,129 points in three seasons at North Dakota. He grabbed career rebound No. 1,000 in Iowa’s win over Michigan on Jan. 12.
The 6-foot-9 center netted double figures a team-best 28 times in 2023 and posted a team-best nine double-doubles, fifth most in the league. Rebraca scored in double figures 25 of the last 27 games. His 0.9 blocks per game rated 13th in the conference.
Rebraca had another stellar outing versus Eastern Illinois. He tallied a game-best 24 points, collected a career-high five steals, and snagged eight rebounds. He totaled 16 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds at Nebraska, and amassed 19 points and 10 rebounds in Iowa’s triumph over then-No. 15 Indiana. Rebraca posted double-double No. 7 in the overtime win over Michigan (13 points, 12 rebounds).
MURRAY EARNS POSTSEASON NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Junior Kris Murray was named Wooden and Oscar Robertson semifinalists, a consensus third team All-American, first-team Big Ten (unanimous by the media), and was a Karl Malone and Lute Olson finalist.
Kris Murray was the only Division I player to average 20+ points, 7+ rebounds, 1+ block and have made 65+ 3-pointers this season.
Murray averaged a team-best 20.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per outing, including 21 points per conference game. Murray increased his scoring average by 11.5 points per game this season compared to last year. His 20.2 points per contest ranked 21st nationally. Murray did not play in four contests in December (Iowa State; Wisconsin; Southeast Missouri State; Eastern Illinois) due to a lower body injury.
Murray scored 30+ points four times in 2023. He was one of 31 players nationally with four or more 30-point performances. Murray is one of four Hawkeyes to score 30+ at least four times in the Fran McCaffery era joining Luka Garza (13), Keegan Murray (5), and Peter Jok (5).
Murray was named the ESPN Men’s Basketball National Player of the Week and Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 5. He amassed 31 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, four 3-pointers, and two blocks in Iowa’s win over Georgia Tech. He is the first Hawkeye to amass 30 points and 20 rebounds in the same game since Bruce King in 1977. Murray is also the only NBA, WNBA, or Division I men’s or women’s player in the last 20 years to total 30+ points, 20+ rebounds, 4+ assists, 4+ 3-pointers, and 2+ blocks in the same game.
Murray returned to the lineup on Dec. 29 at Nebraska, registering game bests in points (17) and blocks (3), while also clearing eight rebounds. He scored a career-best 32 points at Penn State on Jan. 1. Murray totaled 30 points and 10 rebounds in Iowa’s victory over No. 15 Indiana on Jan. 5. He amassed 17 points and seven rebounds in Iowa’s road triumph at Rutgers. Murray played all 45 minutes in Iowa’s triumph over Michigan, amassing 27 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, three assists, and a steal. He netted 17 of his 19 points in the second half in the win over Maryland. Murray netted a game-best 24 points in the home win over Rutgers and game bests in points (28) and rebounds (14) at Minnesota. He totaled 26 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two blocks in Iowa’s road triumph at No. 15 Indiana last week.
He was Iowa’s leading scorer (9.7) and rebounder (4.3) off the bench last season. The native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was second on the team in 3-point percentage (.397), blocks per game (0.9) and field goals made (124), third in offensive (1.6) and defensive (2.7) rebounds per contest, and fourth in steals (0.8) per game. Murray made at least one 3-pointer in a team-best 17 consecutive games (Jan. 22-March 13). His 31 blocks and 43 triples rank seventh and eighth, respectively, by a Hawkeye sophomore.
PERKINS TAKES THE NEXT STEP
Tony Perkins ranked third on the team in points per game (12.3), first in steals (46), second in assists per game (2.75) and tied for third in rebounds per outing (4.1). His 87 free throws made were second most on the team. He has reached double figures in scoring 20 times in 2023, including six of the last eight games. He scored a career-best 32 points, bolstered by 15-of-16 makes from the free throw line, in Iowa’s win over Illinois on Feb. 4. The Indianapolis native made his first 15 free throw attempts, tying the school record for most consecutive free throw makes in a single game (Andre Woolridge vs. Northwestern on March 8, 1997).
SANDFORT TABBED BIG TEN SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Payton Sandfort was named the 2023 Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year. He averaged 10.3 points, 1.8 3-pointers, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.45 assists. He drained four or more triples in five games. The native of Waukee, Iowa, scored in double figures 14 times his sophomore campaign.
Sandfort was instrumental in a pair of overtime victories over the state of Michigan. He scored Iowa’s final seven points of regulation (63 seconds), including a four-point play with 20 seconds remaining to force overtime versus Michigan. Sandfort tallied 24 of his career-high 26 points in the second half and overtime against the Wolverines. Sandfort posted 22 points, including sinking a game-tying triple with three seconds left to send Iowa’s home game versus MSU to overtime. He was a team-best +18 in Iowa’s victory over the Wildcats, scoring 20 points, bolstered by making 5-of-7 from long distance. He led all players with a +21, scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds, in Iowa’s home triumph over Illinois.
Sandfort netted double figures in 10 of the last 19 games. Iowa was 11-5 when Sandfort made multiple triples in a game.
Off the court, Sandfort excels in the classroom earning 2023 Academic All-District honors and Fall Semester Dean’s List distinction in 2022.
Iowa has had a number of players miss games this season due health reasons. Below is the list of players and games missed.
Tony Perkins: Omaha (thigh)
Riley Mulvey: Georgia Tech, Duke (illness)
Kris Murray: Iowa State, Wisconsin, SEMO, Eastern Illinois (lower body)
Ahron Ulis: Wisconsin (hip contusion)
Connor McCaffery: Eastern Illinois (wrist)
Josh Ogundele: PSU, IND, RUT, MICH, UMD, OSU, MSU, RUT, NW, ILL (knee)
Patrick McCaffery: Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan, Maryland, Ohio State, Michigan State (anxiety)
Iowa became just the fourth team in Division I history to trail by 11+ points and win with under one minute remaining in the game when it rallied from 11 points with 55 seconds left to upend Michigan State in overtime (112-106) on Feb. 25 in Iowa City. Texas A&M (down 12 with 33 seconds left vs. UNI in 2016), UNLV (down 11 with 59 seconds left vs. SDSU in 2005), Nevada (down 11 with 59 seconds left vs. New Mexico in 2017).
Iowa posted its third-largest comeback in school history when it rallied to beat No. 15 Indiana (91-89) on Jan. 5, in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes trailed by 21 points (28-7) early in the first half. Iowa took its first lead with 11:35 remaining in the second half.
Iowa’s two largest comebacks were 23 points against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 17, 2022, and 22 points at Illinois on Jan. 14, 1987.
The Hawkeyes rallied from a 10-point second half deficit, including trailing by seven with under two minutes left in regulation, to upend Michigan in overtime on Jan. 12 in Iowa City.
MURRAYS JOIN ELITE LIST
Twin brothers Keegan Murray and Kris Murray have earned first-team All-Big Ten distinction in 2022 and 2023, respectively. The Murrays are one of just four sets of brothers to earn first-team All-Big Ten recognition. The Murrays join Jay/Sam Vincent (Michigan State), Woody/Chad Austin (Purdue) and Taylor Battle (Penn State/Boo Buie (Northwestern).
ANOTHER SIXTH-YEAR PLAYER
Connor McCaffery returned for his COVID bonus year and sixth season. He played in 166 career games, second to only Jordan Bohannon (179) in program history. McCaffery played in 111 games in which Iowa won, tying Jordan Bohannon for most in school history.
McCaffery, who was named an honorable mention all-conference selection, averaged 6.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and a team-best 3.65 assists per game in 2023. He made a single-season best 38 triples, third most on the team. McCaffery posted 14 points, bolstered by shooting a perfect 8-of-8 from the foul line, in his first start of the season against the Cyclones. He registered his first career double-double versus Georgia Tech (10 points; 10 rebounds) and notched his second double-double versus Wisconsin (17 points, 10 rebounds). McCaffery dished out eight assists (only one turnover) in Iowa’s win at Rutgers. He tied a season high with 10 rebounds in the win at Minnesota, and followed up that performance with seven points, six rebounds, and a career-high 13 assists (zero turnovers) in Iowa’s double-digit win over Ohio State. McCaffery had a game-high nine assists, to go along with eight rebounds, and eight points in Iowa’s regular season finale against Nebraska.
He was tops in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.9). McCaffery had zero turnovers 13 times this season.
McCaffery only missed seven free throws this season (49-of-56). He made 19 consecutive free throws from Nov. 29 to Dec. 29, before missing his first and only attempt at Penn State on Jan. 1, 2023.
FRAN MCCAFFERY CONTINUES TO WIN
- Fran McCaffery, Rick Pitino, Bob Huggins, Eddie Sutton and Lefty Driesell are the only Division I coaches to lead teams to conference tournament titles in four or more different leagues.
- Fran McCaffery has led Iowa to Big Ten upper division finishes 10 of the last 11 years, including this season. Iowa and Michigan State have each recorded a Big Ten-best 10 first division finishes since 2013.
- Fran McCaffery has coached a first-team All-Big Ten honoree eight of the last 10 seasons. He has guided Iowa to a fifth place or better finish in the Big Ten seven of the last nine years.
- This year marked the third straight year that Iowa was a top five seed at the Big Ten Tournament.
- Iowa made (495) more free throws than its foes attempted (472). The Hawkeyes have only once before accomplished the feat over the last 25 years (2018-19 season).
- Iowa is 145-29 when scoring 80 points or more, the last 13 seasons. The Hawkeyes are 94-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 61 points, the last 13 years.
- Fran McCaffery has amassed 126 Big Ten regular season victories, tying Tom Davis (126) for most in program history.
- Fourteen of Iowa’s 19 wins came by double digits.
- Iowa’s 22-point win (90-68) over No. 15 Indiana on Feb. 28 matched its largest margin of victory in Bloomington (1947). Iowa’s 90 points are the third most the Hawkeyes have scored in a game at Bloomington (91 in 1994 and 104 in 1970).
- Iowa has won four straight games over the Hoosiers, its longest win streak since 2010-11.
- Iowa’s bench erupted for a season-high 42 points, 36 of which came from Payton Sandfort (26) and Josh Dix (10), in its overtime win over Michigan on Jan. 12.
- Redshirt senior Connor McCaffery and redshirt junior Patrick McCaffery were one of 22 father/coach and son/player duos in Division I in 2022-23. Of the 22 schools, Iowa and Michigan were the only programs with a father/coach and two sons on the roster.
- Kris Murray and Patrick McCaffery were voted to the Emerald Coast Classic All-Tournament Team. Murray averaged a double-double (10.5 points, 11 rebounds), while McCaffery led the team with a career-high 21 points in Iowa’s victory over Clemson.
- Kris Murray is the only Division I player over the last 25 years to have scored 95+ points, grabbed 30+ rebounds, had five or fewer turnovers, shot 60 percent from the field, and 100 percent from the foul line over any four-game span during a season. Murray accomplished the feat in November.
- Iowa has won its last three home games against Michigan State, its longest win streak against the Spartans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since 1991-93.
- The MSU-Iowa game was the highest scoring game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena history (218 points) and was the highest scoring contest in series history, dating back to 1937.
- Kris Murray’s 31 points and 20 rebounds versus Georgia Tech are both the most by a Hawkeye in an ACC Challenge game. The 20 rebounds tie Justin Champagnie (Pitt in 2020) for the most by any player in a Challenge game and are the most by any Big Ten player.
- Iowa has won 83 of its last 89 nonleague home games, dating back to 2012.
- Kris Murray and his brother, Keegan, are the only brothers in Division I in the last 20 years to each have a 20-point/20-rebounds performance at the same school.
- Iowa has qualified for six NCAA Tournaments over the last eight completed seasons (2014-16, 2019, 2021, 2022) and nine postseason tournaments over the last 10 completed seasons (6 NCAA; 3 NIT). The 2020 postseason was canceled due to COVID-19.
A number of recent Iowa basketball graduates are playing professionally: Keegan Murray (NBA Sacramento Kings), Luka Garza (G League Iowa Wolves), Jordan Bohannon (G League Iowa Wolves), Joe Wieskamp (NBA Toronto Raptors), Jarrod Uthoff (Japan), Devyn Marble (Poland), Tyler Cook (G League Salt Lake City Stars), Anthony Clemmons (Turkey), Gabriel Olaseni (Turkey), Ryan Kriener (Matsuyama), Melsahn Basabe (Nicaragua), and Aaron White (Serbia).